I have a ceiling fan/light combo in my bathroom ceiling. It's hooked up with those white connectors you see on this picture:

enter image description here

When someone takes long showers, especially at night when the temperature in the house is lower, the fan/light shorts and the breaker is tripped. The bathroom goes dark. As soon as I disconnect the fan I can flip the breaker and everything in the bathroom comes on again. I can also see some black lint dirt down in the connectors that probably adds to the problem. I have cleaned out the connectors many times but after a while it happens again. I also replaced the fan/light combo but it keeps happening. An electrician told me to add some anti-ox stuff inside the connectors to keep moisture out but I have not tried that yet and wanted to ask if that's worth while trying or if I need more drastic measures. Ideas anyone?

The fan looks like this:

Fan unit

  • 1
    Is this a regular circuit breaker that's tripping, or a GFCI or AFCI? Apr 26, 2020 at 17:39
  • 2
    It's a GFCI, not a normal circuit breaker.
    – Christian
    Apr 27, 2020 at 14:06
  • When its running is the fan actually venting the humidity like it should? I've seen vents installed that just go into the attic...
    – mark f
    Sep 29, 2020 at 2:54

2 Answers 2


You could apply liquid electrical tape around the connector to reduce the moisture getting to the electrical connections.

For a better seal, remove the connector and wire it using heat shrink butt connectors, or use regular butt connectors with heat shrink tubing and a water proof sealant like liquid electrical tape. This will reduce the ability for moisture to get into the connector. Though I understand this might be more difficult to do with some light/fan combos.


If a GFCI trips it addresses a real danger for people. A GFCI will trip, if the current through the white wire differs from that running through the black wire. Hence there's current flowing elsewhere. Elsewhere in this case means the housing of the fan light combo is powered and current can flow through it to your building structure.

If it leaks current to the housing, it probably can't be fixed easily. Dispose of that thing and get one with a higher rating for humid environments.

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